Lifestyle & Belief

Lance Armstrong to break silence with Oprah interview


From top left, Lance Armstrong celebrates his Tour de France titles in 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999 on the podium on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.



Defamed cyclist Lance Armstrong will give an exclusive interview to Oprah, his first since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and millions of endorsement dollars.

Oprah's website released the following statement:

"Oprah Winfrey will speak exclusively with Lance Armstrong in his first no-holds-barred interview. Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."

The interview will be a special 90-minute episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter," airing Thursday, January 17 (9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The New York Times cited several anonymous sources last Friday, saying Armstrong may admit the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions.

However, Reuters reports Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman, said his client had not spoken no anti-doping officials about admission.

News of the upcoming interview first broke via Oprah's Twitter account:

Armstrong then confirmed, retweeting Oprah.

Meanwhile, on "60 Minutes Sports," USADA chief Travis Tygart said an Armstrong representative attempted to donate about $250,000 to his agency before a formal investigation into the cyclists began. 

"I was stunned," Tygart said. ''It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA. We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer.''

The US anti-doping body, USADA, said in an October 10 report that Armstrong was involved in one of the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Armstrong was banned from competition for life by USADA, and whether or not a confession would change that ruling is unclear.

[View the story "Armstrong to go on Oprah, Twitter reacts" on Storify]